Centennial Park

floodplain design | community fitness | walkability

Rifle, Colorado

Play, Connection, and Safety

The community park design for this 14-acre linear site in the heart of Rifle. It connects the historic downtown area with the county fairgrounds and features a "walk through time" along Rifle Creek with interpretive areas that tell the city's story. 

Our design provides open space and passive recreation opportunities for residents, as well as safe pedestrian connections to a local middle school, an existing trail system, other city parks, and the downtown shopping district. It park also gave the Town space for large gatherings, community events, and festivals.

Marketing to Increased Funding

After numerous public and stakeholder meetings, the park was designed around a “time” theme, During the master planning phase, we provided perspective sketches, illustrations, and cost estimates, then helped secure funding by producing a brochure for residents to build support and ensure the passing of a necessary tax increase. Our team also assisted the Town with a GOCO Grant application.

Park Amenities, Municipal Infrastructure, and Environmental Education

A historic timeline follows an existing trail, and includes a wayside for each decade of Rifle's history from the early 1900’s. The waysides offer seating, shade, and interpretive signs that explain the city's history and a perspective of world events. The trail weaves weaves through numerous distinct event areas, including:

  • Large community green

  • Fitness course

  • Splash pad water play area

  • Stage and amphitheater

  • Pond and wetlands area

  • Custom gateway and entry features

  • Trail signage and wayfinding design

  • Interpretive signage and story telling nodes

  • Themed play area and tot lot

  • Picnic areas, shelters, and restrooms

New municipal infrastructure features include six pedestrian bridges, parking lots, an irrigation pump station, a dam on Rifle Creek, and three custom gateways connecting the park to the downtown area.

Environmental education components include outdoor classrooms and opportunities to teach the community about stream health, hydrology, native vegetation, and wildlife.

Designing in a Floodplain

Centennial is located in a flood plain, so we designed several features to accommodate occasional flood waters and seasonal high flows from the creek, and to allow for efficient maintenance and clean-up. Custom design elements include:

  • Specialized lighting

  • Pump house

  • Bridges

  • Natural amphitheater

  • Planting beds

  • Parking

Project Awards

Downtown Colorado - Governor’s Award for Downtown Excellence | Best Downtown Park

Colorado Parks & Recreation Association - Columbine Award


ASLA Colorado - Design Merit Award


Great Outdoors Colorado - Starburst Award